If you love beautiful vocal music that stirs you to the very core of your inner being, then, Barbados, you are in for the treat of a lifetime within the next two months. Arrangements are being finalized for one of Canada’s top community choirs –– the Toronto Cantata Chorus (TCC) –– to perform in this country.
The choir is scheduled to be here from May 28 to June 5 for a series of benefit concerts.
These concerts are to help churches and other charitable organizations in their fund-raising efforts.
The TCC, which does a lot of charitable work, will not be sharing in any of the proceeds from these events. It has done similar tours in Newfoundland, the Philippines and more recently Jamaica.
The concerts planned so far are as follows: Saturday, May 30, Bethel Methodist –– to aid Bethel and Vauxhall churches in their fund-raising efforts; Sunday, May 31, St Michael’s Cathedral –– to assist in its renovation project; Tuesday, June 2, Holy Trinity Church –– to help the Sterling Children’s Home; and Wednesday, June 3, possible benefit for the Hope Foundation.
The Toronto Cantata Chorus is currently in its 12th season. It is an auditioned community choir of approximately 30 members out of Toronto, Ontario.
Collectively the group represents a broad range of interests, abilities, ages and cultures. Its music spans almost every genre and taste –– from classical to gospel, to Broadway medleys.
Since its inception, a huge part of the choir’s mission has been to give back to the community by offering benefit concerts for a variety of organizations.
Musical director Maestro Tak Ng Lai is an internationally celebrated conductor. Along with his work with the choir, he is the director of the Canadian Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra also out of Toronto, Ontario.
Choir president and soprano soloist Aileen Lee enjoys a busy schedule of family, choir and church ministry.
As one of its founders, she is deeply committed to the success of the choir. She is highly sought after for her pure, rich vocals, and for her willingness to give back to the community.
Assistant conductor and resident composer Jason Locke has been with the choir for six years. His significant musical talent has broadened the choir’s repertoire and allowed it to bring many powerful and moving new compositions to the community in recent years. He has a Master’s in sacred music from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto.
Alto soloist Michelle Man has had a passion for singing since the age of six. She sang with her church choir and the Hong Kong Yip’s Children’s Choir when she was growing up in Hong Kong. After her family emigrated to Canada she continued to conduct and sing in church choirs, and has been a valued member of the Toronto Cantata Chorus since it was first established.
“I have got a taste of the choir’s music and I was particularly thrilled by its version of Amazing Grace, fused with classical and soul styling, featuring a soloist who is backed by the choir.”
During the weekend of November 15 to 17, 2013, Jamaicans were privileged to hear the choir, which performed for the Love And Hope Ministries. All proceeds from that went to assist the less fortunate children.
Meanwhile just a reminder of other major musical events coming up.
For example, the Caribbean Praise Fest, March 28 at the Wildey Gymnasium; the Incredible Praise –– Worship Without Borders concert also on March 28 at the Sanctuary Empowerment Centre, MPower Complex, Country Road, St Michael; and the Barbados Gospelfest, May 23 to 31, at various venues, including the Wildey Gymnasium, Divi Southwinds and Farley Hill Memorial Park.
These events will bring to Barbados such artistes as Israel & New Breed out of the United States; Positive from Trinidad and Tobago; Shine The Light from St Croix, Virgin Islands; Fenton Harry from St Vincent and the Grenadines; and Jamaican Kevin Downswell.
Of course, as hosts, Barbados will be well represented at these concerts by such heavyweights as Neesha Woodz and De Warrior.
Word has it that a big Independence gospel concert is also in the works. Stay connected.
That’s it for now. Blessings!